Each year, G.S. Proctor & Associates compiles for our clients a detailed report analyzing key developments in the legislative process affecting the issues and industries that matter most in the state of Maryland.
Here is a breakdown of this year’s key developments in public safety. Select a link below to see additional areas of interest or download a PDF of the full report here.
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After months of bipartisan negotiations, leaders in the General Assembly drafted a package of police reform bills as a response to the decades of activism demanding greater transparency and accountability for law enforcement. Under the Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, a wide-range of policies includes a new disciplinary process, public access to records, no-knock warrants procedures, scholarships for future officers, and higher payouts in plaintiff lawsuits. Over the weekend, before Sine Die, Governor Hogan vetoed three police reform bills, expressing concerns that they pose a significant risk to public safety. The bills are:
- Senate Bill 71 – Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021, which mandates body-worn cameras statewide and changes use-of-force guidelines.
- Senate Bill 178 – Maryland Police Accountability Act of 2021 (Anton’s Law), which changes how search warrants can be executed, limits the use of no-knock warrants, and allows for the inspection of records relating to police conduct. Under the bill, police could only use no-knock warrants between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., except in an emergency.
- House Bill 670 – Police Reform and Accountability Act of 2021, which repeals the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights.
All of the measures passed with more than the three-fifths vote needed to override Governor Hogan’s vetoes.